Another big shake-up on the horizon for prep football?

Sports Chatter
By: Mike Ray
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Let’s take a quick trip around the local prep sports scene….

Cal-Hi Sports, the bible of high school sports in California, released its final state-wide football rankings by division this week for the just-completed 2018 season and four area squads made Cal-Hi’s final list of elite teams.

In D-II, Del Oro (13-2) finished the season as Cal-Hi’s No. 3-ranked squad. No. 1 honors went to Lawndale (13-2) and No. 2 to Grace Brethren (Simi Valley), the team that topped the Golden Eagles in the state championship game.

Placer’s fine 12-1 season was also acknowledged by Cal-Hi as the Hillmen ended the season as the No. 6 D-III team in the state.

Top honors in D-III were garnered by Menlo-Atherton, which finished 13-2. Also ahead of Placer were No. 2 Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa (12-1), No. 3 Capital Christian (13-1), No. 4 Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland (11-2) and No. 5 Lincoln of San Diego (11-3).

In D-IV, both Colfax (13-1) and Bear River (11-2) were tagged to the final state poll. Colfax was listed in the No. 6 spot while the Bruins, whose only two losses were to the Falcons, landed at No. 10.

In D-IV, the top three teams included McClymonds of Oakland (12-2) at No. 1, Rio Linda (13-2) at No. 2 and San Diego (12-2) at No. 3. Hilmar (13-1) was the lone Sac-Joaquin Section team to finish in the No. 1 position as the Yellowjackets topped the D-V list.

State champion Folsom (14-1) finished as the No. 5 team in D-I.

PVL to add Pirates?

It’s been learned that the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section has accepted bids from two North Section schools to transfer to the SJS starting in the middle of the current realignment cycle, in the fall of 2020.

Wheatland, a longtime North Section member and a school of around 700 students, will be joining the section along with Esparto, a school of 300 students located in Yolo County.

Without trying to become the CIF’s master plan director, this corner likes Wheatland being placed in the Pioneer Valley League. Although the PVL would increase to a seven-team league, it seems natural for the Pirates with rivals Marysville and Lindhurst both located within 15 miles of the Wheatland campus.

A good landing spot, meanwhile, for Esparto could be the Sierra Delta League, which features Rio Vista, Golden Sierra, Linden, Vacaville Christian, Highlands and San Juan.


Competitive equity for grid playoffs

According to sources close to the subject, it appears that the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Football Advisory Committee has “tabled” talks of going to a competitive equity playoff format at least until later in 2019.

At the committee’s recent meeting in December, talks arose over changing the section’s current playoff format to one that is used by the state for its CIF bowl games. If a first reading of the subject would have been done for January’s board of managers meeting, it could have been voted on in April to be implemented this fall.

For instance, it the competitive equity format would have been in use this season, using CalPreps’ rankings, Del Oro and Placer would have been both D-I playoff participants, Colfax would have been in D-II and Bear River in D-III.

First-round games would have had Placer hosting Granite Bay, Del Oro gaining a bye and then playing the Central Catholic-St.Mary’s winner, Colfax hosting Sacramento High and Bear River playing at Hilmar with the winner of that game getting Manteca.

In a mock bracketing of the equity system, as many as three current D-I teams would have played in D-IV. Christian Brothers, a D-III team would have been in D-V and Sierra of Manteca – long a D-III-IV power – would have been in D-VI.